Similarity To Other Analyses
Of course, the specific notions of Đilas are his own development, however the idea that bureaucrats in a typical Marxist-Leninist style state become a new class is not his original idea. Mikhail Bakunin had made this point in his International Workingmen's Association debates with Marx in the mid-to-late 19th century. This idea was repeated after the Russian revolution by anarchists like Kropotkin and Makhno, as well as some communists. In 1911 Robert Michels first proposed the Iron law of oligarchy, which described the development of bureaucratic hierarchies in supposedly egalitarian and democratic socialist parties. It was later repeated by a leader of the Russian Revolution, Leon Trotsky through his theory of degenerated workers state. Further on, Mao Zedong also had his own version of this idea developed during the Socialist Education Movement to criticize the Communist Party of China under Liu Shaoqi. Of course, this wide range of people over the decades had different perspectives on the matter, but there was also a degree of core agreement on this idea.
From the other side of the fence, the work of Friedrich Hayek also anticipated many of Đilas' New Class criticisms, without placing them in a Marxist context (see esp. The Road to Serfdom). American neoconservatives adapted New Class analysis in their theory of the managerial state. Karl Popper's criticisms of utopian social pursuits in The Open Society and Its Enemies are markedly similar to Đilas' views, which were nonetheless developed independently (see note 6 to Chapter 18 of The Open Society and Its Enemies and related text).
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